Beware Worst Trip Ever

Aug 29th, 2009, 12:35 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1
Beware Worst Trip Ever

We booked in advance with and thought everything was cool until we went to check in

and then we were told to stay at the resort we had to put down a $150.00 deposit a day credit card for incidentals.

The Gran Melia is a expensive hotel, we stayed aug 14- 20, 2009 far from the airport

The bad thing about PR is that in order to really sight see and get around you need to rent a car

but I thought it was ridulous to pay 15 dollars a day to park @ the hotel

The resort is far off the main road and there isnt any public transportation readily available.

I felt all extras were ridulous and should have been known ahead of time.

dealing we had with the front desk were frustrating.Food and drinks at hotel were very expensive too.

Also, by the pool, a coke cost $3 for a 4 oz glass (no free refills).

As for food, since the hotel is located pretty far away from the city or
outlining towns you are left with the Hotel restaurants which are crazt over priced

beach is poor really small,The bed loungers around pool are are extra at 50 per day.

the beach at the hotel is not suitable for swimming. It's really shallow and rocky.

instead its beauty masks the fact that the management is constantly trying to jerk you on your vacation,

it was just a really bad trip. I could not possibly write all of the things that went wrong.

We will NEVER visit this resort again I would not recommened this hotel.
LATINA_GODEZZ is offline  
Aug 29th, 2009, 04:17 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 5,765
welcome to fodors. if you let us help you plan your next trip perhaps you won't encounter so many surprises when you go. numerous bad reviews on trip advisor as well. the user photos posted there show an awful beach.
to be clear you paid for your rooms, plus $150/day resort fee and yet still had to pay for tiny drinks, food, parking and bed pool loungers?
virginia is offline  
Aug 29th, 2009, 04:49 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,223
A little research before a trip goes a long way. These are things you could have easily discovered and chosen a different resort. PR is a wonderful island with a lot to offer.
Most resorts charge rediculous fees for food and drink. It's part of the "resort" experience. Again, advance planning would have saved you $$$.
schmerl is offline  
Aug 29th, 2009, 06:40 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,934
Don't blame the resort for not doing YOUR homework...& if you don't have transportation, guess what, you're essentially 'trapped' at that resort. Not too smart, huh ?
SAnParis2 is offline  
Aug 30th, 2009, 06:14 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,077
So, how did you decide on this resort, since you obviously didn't do your homeowrk before booking? It always amazes me that some people can not find Fodors or Trip Advisor until AFTER they booked and went on vacation. This is another prime example of why an AI is a better value in some places. Good luck with your next trip. We'll be happy to help you if you need it. Just post with questions before you go.
KVR is offline  
Aug 30th, 2009, 08:12 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5,498
Sorry to hear you didn't enjoy your trip but as others have pointed out a little bit of research on your part would have gone a long way toward helping you avoid many of the problems you encountered.

Resorts in the Caribbean are not "cheap" by any means. If you are on a tight budget many young or first time visitors prefer going to an All Inclusive Resort so they know in advance what their room and food costs will be. If the resort you pick is not AI or doesn't have a meal plan you can pretty much expect higher than average prices for food and drink if you stay "on resort". This is true not only in the Caribbean but throughout the world. You can, however, usually find lower foor and drink prices "off resort". Remember, though, that if you frequent places that cater to tourists you'll generally find higher prices than at places where the "locals" eat and drink.

As for "free refills" on soft drinks, if you are not staying at an AI it is doubtful you'd find "free refills" anywhere in the Caribbean (except perhaps if you are drinking iced tea).

If you plan to go "off resort" you have to budget for transportation - either a rental car or taxis are the preferred method since public transportation (bus service) on most islands is not usually a viable options for tourists.

Many, if not all, of the things that you found dissapointing could have been discovered if you fully researched the resort and it's location prior to your booking your trip.

Next time, visit the resort's website to find out what is and what is not included. Go to travel websites like Fodors and TripAdvisor to check out reviews of the resort you are considering, visit the "tourist websites" for the island you are visiting to learn more about what there is tpo do and see, how you can get around, where you can eat, how much you should budget for incidentials, etc.

In this day and age you can use the internet to get so much information about a specific destination that you can have a virtual vacation without ever leaving your home.

Hopefully you can use your past experience to plan your next trip so you don't encounter any untoward surprises.
RoamsAround is online now  
Aug 31st, 2009, 06:37 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 34
Or, you can use a reliable travel agent who could guide you in the right direction. Someone who has been to Puerto Rico and knows the resorts. I am in complete agreement with you on this resort, which is why I do not recommend it to clients.
travlgal is offline  
Sep 1st, 2009, 06:50 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 154

Sorry you did not enjoy your trip.
The Gran Melia is not the best option if you do not have transport. But if you had rented a car for part of the trip you would have found plenty of places to eat just away from the resort. Plus on the way to the resort there is a large walmart where you could have stocked up on things.

There are also good beaches at Luquillo and Fajardo (again not far in a car) + the awesome El YUnque Rainforest.

As for being charged $150 per day for room incidentals is their standard charge. One option would have been to ask for a refund each day that you did not use room service - a pain I know, but at least you would be getting some money back.

These room fees are not unique to that resort of Puerto Rico for that matter. I was charged $70 per night in San Diego recently. But as I did not use any room service that charge was refunded at the end of the stay.

For any one considering this resort or area a car is essential for part if not all of your treip, so that you can truly enjoy that area.

Also, do your research. As others have mentioned this forum has lots of info, and there are other places too, such as TripAdvisor and local travel guides (mine for example
coqui_07 is offline  
Sep 1st, 2009, 06:51 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 154
That website is
coqui_07 is offline  
Sep 1st, 2009, 08:34 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,425
PR is a fairly expensive destination in terms of hotels. The taxes are pretty high. Though we have been cruising more lately we have taken quite a few land vacations and one thing you learn is location. We never used to pick a place too far away from town as we like to explore. Keep this in mind next time you think about going somewhere. Also look into what it will cost once you get there. You might get a good deal for air/hotel but look up what it will cost to eat, tour and so on. For example some yrs. ago we took a vacation to Fiji. For about the same $$ we could have gone to Tahiti but after checking we found the cost of restaurants in FP was (and still is) outrageous vs. Fiji where dinner for three at a nice restaurant was then (2001) $50.00 USD. We have also learned to see what the beach area is like B4 we go as having a nice beach to stroll on is a nice thing for us. Sorry to hear of your bad time but honestly I don't think you can blame the hotel. Its up to you to do some research first b4 you go. Lesson learned hopefully.
jacketwatch is offline  

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